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What Happened To Orlando Brown: The Tragic Story Of A That's So Raven Star

The following article contains allegations of domestic abuse, sexual assault, drug use, and alcohol abuse.

Avid Disney Channel viewers who grew up in the early 2000s probably have a soft spot in their hearts for "That's So Raven." The series, which follows the high school antics of a teen psychic (Raven-Symoné) and her besties, Chelsea Daniels (Anneliese van der Pol) and Eddie Thomas (Orlando Brown), aired on the network from 2003 through 2007. On "That's So Raven," Eddie is oftentimes the comedic relief of the show, from his "Black Velvet" self-portrait to his impromptu rap performances. But off-screen, once the series wrapped up in 2007, the life of Brown became anything but funny.

Post-Disney, he regularly made headlines thanks to his numerous arrests for drug possession, assault, and all-around unhinged behavior, like trespassing on someone's property while barefoot and carrying a box of Franzia. Though he's made attempts to continue his career in entertainment, both as an actor and musician, the controversies surrounding Brown — including his accusations of the evils of Hollywood — have overshadowed any positive moves he's made. Let's take a look at the tragic story of Brown and where he's at today.

An active child star

Undoubtedly, Orlando Brown is best recognized for his 100-episode run Eddie Thomas from "That's So Raven." However, despite landing the prominent role as a teenager, Brown already amassed plenty of experience in front of the cameras. The actor's filmography rewinds all the way back to 1995, when he portrayed a young cadet in the Damon Wayans-led comedy film "Major Payne."

Following his movie debut, Brown appeared in an assortment of television sitcoms, including "Coach," "Sister, Sister," and "The Jamie Foxx Show." It did not take the budding performer long to establish a successful career. By the end of the '90s, Brown joined the main cast of the popular CBS sitcom "Family Matters" and had a leading role beside Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in their post-"Full House" series, "Two of a Kind." He had an equally successful voice acting career before landing his Disney Channel hit, adding character voices to cartoons such as "The Proud Family" and "Fillmore!" (Both of which made our list of the best kids' shows of the 2000s, alongside "That's So Raven.") Regardless of his flourishing acting career, Brown opted to spend more time focused on his music career following the cancellation of his most prominent show.

He was arrested after That's So Raven

"That's So Raven" was a groundbreaking achievement for Disney Channel. It holds many records and distinctions, including being the network's first series to hit 100 episodes and giving birth to Disney Channel's first spin-off series "Cory in the House." However, as the series was posed with the question of what to do with the characters post-high school, the network opted to pull the plug in 2006, with the final episodes airing through 2007.

Sadly, it did not take Orlando Brown long post-Disney to find himself in trouble with the law, and his career quickly tanked. In April 2007, the actor was arrested for cannabis possession after being pulled over for driving without headlights on in Houston. Quick to deny that the illicit drugs belonged to him, Brown also claimed that the vehicle was lent to him by a friend. "I didn't know what was in the car. That's not what I do. I consider myself a youth activist," Brown stated at the time (per the Houston Chronicle). Charged with a misdemeanor and released on bail, Brown seemed to know the impact the arrest would have on his career. "I don't want this lingering over my head," he said. "I love what I do. Why jeopardize what I built?"

He went missing in 2008

The next time that Orlando Brown popped up in the news, it was for far more concerning reasons. In April 2008, the actor made a late-morning trip to a local convenience store and mysteriously disappeared. With a full slate of appointments for the day, the abrupt absence was undoubtedly worrisome for Brown's family and friends. Brown's manager, Ricky Romance, put out multiple calls to action, and the news spread quickly of the peculiar disappearance.

Thankfully, the then-20-year-old Brown reemerged the following day, reportedly calling into a radio station to confirm he was okay. The reason for his absence: The actor "felt a little lost and needed to get away," he said in a statement (via TV Guide). Markedly, the striving musician was in a contemplative mood following a highly criticized live performance the evening prior to his disappearance. Brown apologized for causing distress, saying, "It was wrong for me not to inform my manager about my whereabouts, especially when I am usually so routine and big on communication."

Even more struggles with the law

Although Orlando Brown's 2008 disappearance resulted in a false alarm, the actor and musician soon vanished from the limelight. Along with no longer releasing music, one of the few times Brown was spotted by the public was as a dinner guest during a Season 9 episode of "Hell's Kitchen." The next time Brown made headlines, he was busted for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in 2011. The former "That's So Raven" star failed to complete the required alcohol education courses for the arrest and inevitably served jail time for the offense.

Dishearteningly, Brown's troubles with the law were not over. In 2014, the former child actor was charged with public intoxication and disturbance of the peace after being caught by police ranting and making death threats outside of a woman's apartment in North Hollywood. During 2016, Brown found himself in more trouble when he was arrested for domestic abuse. Reportedly, the actor was discovered in an altercation with his girlfriend parked outside of a police station, and after subsequently being arrested he was found in possession of methamphetamine. Failure to appear in court for the charges resulted in Brown being captured by a professional bounty hunter in 2018. The year would be rock bottom for the former star, who landed himself more charges for drug possession and robbery and eventually served jail time once again.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Orlando Brown has made a lot of strange comments about Raven-Symoné's identity

Over the years, Orlando Brown has given some candid interviews, during which he made some pretty bold claims about the entertainment industry. While speaking with UNWINEWITHTASHAK on YouTube, he went in-depth about how people looking to make it big sell their souls. He also stated his belief that former Disney Channel star Raven-Symoné is no longer herself. "It's like she's sitting right here and I can't say that it's Raven because it don't look like Raven," Brown said. Some of his comments are referencing Raven-Symoné's changed appearance, but he also has a strange attitude toward how she's returned to her Disney Channel character over a decade after the show concluded.

No matter how many strange things Brown has said — and he has said many outlandish things, such as that he created the Illuminati and has had sex with a laundry list of Hollywood A-listers — he has a vocal base of supporters that is hard to ignore. They show up in the comments of every interview he does, and while many have chalked Brown's claims up to mental health issues, these supporters aren't so quick to denounce what he's saying. Common refrains among these comments are that he's speaking in metaphors to conceal the truth, that he shouldn't be dismissed as "crazy" because he's been in the industry for so long, and that his detractors simply aren't engaging with his arguments enough. Those arguments, to be clear, are about how Drake and Raven-Symoné are the same person, how Raven-Symoné and rapper Blueface are the same person, and how P. Diddy and Kerry Washington are the same person — all compiled in a helpful TikTok from user @brookesobasic.

He claimed to be the child of Michael Jackson

Orlando Brown's slew of troubles with the law in 2018 culminated with his friends and family seeking help for the former child sitcom star. Solomon Barron, manager and friend to the then-31-year-old, booked the actor for his first television gig in years. However, what fans received was unexpected. Barron had turned to celebrity psychologist Phil McGraw to intervene in Brown's downward spiral.

Brown appeared on the long-running "Dr. Phil" series sporting snake-eyed contact lenses in December 2018. The "Raven" star appeared distressed and made some heavy claims, including who his father might be. "My full name is Orlando Brown Prince Michael Jackson Jr. aka Blanket," said Brown, laughing. "My father was Michael Jackson, the great Michael Jackson." He also denied Barron's assertion that Brown previously claimed that Will Smith was his biological father. Later in the interview, he revealed that he has maintained a close relationship with former co-star Raven-Symoné, saying, "I want to marry her. I have to find out a way to ask her." At the conclusion of the appearance, Brown initially refused help and declined an offer to attend rehab but eventually agreed. McGraw ended the episode by saying, "Orlando has been committed to treatment and has made great strides."

He has made some other bold allegations

Following his televised interview on "Dr. Phil," Orlando Brown's claims worsened far beyond asserting to be the child of celebrities. The actor has been reported to have made claims that he had sexual relations with multiple actors and musicians, including Lil Bow Wow and Nick Cannon, as well as Michael Jackson and Will Smith, whom he accused of sexually assaulting him. The video of Brown's allegations against Cannon has remained uploaded via Shade Room, and in it, he brags about allowing the "Wild 'N Out" host to perform oral sex on him.

Cannon was quick to dismiss the allegation. "When I first saw this I thought it was f***ing hilarious," said Cannon in a now-deleted Instagram post (via E! News). Cannon then expressed sympathy for Brown, saying, "I am praying for the young brother Orlando even though I don't really know him personally, I have always loved and enjoyed his talent and have been a fan of his past work." Cannon continued by using the moment to raise awareness of mental health, "This is another crucial example of when we allow our young artists to be prematurely exposed by this demonic business and left out to fend for themselves." Meanwhile, Lil Bow Wow made his own reply to Brown's dangerous statements, saying (via Shade Room), "Ima 35 yr old father, I don't play them type games."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He has a tattoo of a former co-star on his neck

It seems Orlando Brown's time on the Disney Channel series "That's So Raven" was the height of the actor's career. Falling off track, it was disappointing when Eddie didn't return for the 2017 reboot, "Raven's Home." Brown had mixed feelings about being shunned. "I wish nothing but the best," Brown said to TMZ. "I think she [Raven-Symoné] did it as a conscientious business decision. I think she is far off into another land mentally." The former Eddie actor went on to say, "If she feels like that's what she wants to do, then I love her still."

Brown showcased just how much his former series and co-star meant to him a short while later. In 2018, the once-child actor sported a new tattoo across his chest and neck featuring the face of his former on-screen best friend, Raven. When Raven-Symoné was questioned about how she felt about appearing on the former "That's So Raven" star's body, she was quick to change the topic, obviously uncomfortable with the situation.

Orlando Brown hasn't completely disappeared from the screen

Orlando Brown may have faced some controversy following his tenure on "That's So Raven," but he didn't completely give up on his acting endeavors. Over the years, he has appeared in a number of projects, including "The End" and "American Bad Boy," and he even was part of the all-star cast of "Straight Outta Compton."

Additionally, Brown has pursued a music career on and off. He also filmed a series of music videos, which are available to view on his YouTube channel. Brown's music may not have achieved mainstream status, but his tracks resonated with his listeners, who were happy to see him in a positive light.

In response to his "One Night" video, @missyparris7683 wrote, "I find it crazy how the videos of him at his worst have circulated so many times to this very day, yet these recent videos that show clear progression and prove he's doing better, haven't ever been shared!!!" User @astrology4u added, "When he is giving the tea and acting crazy, everyone is on the scene but when he is being productive.... Crickets? So proud of you Orlando, keep moving and striving for your absolute best... you are awesome!" He at least has a lingering group of fans for when — or if — he decides to go back into show business on a more permanent basis.

He became more religious in recent years

Despite interventions from friends, family, and Phil McGraw, Orlando Brown struggled to get clean, lasting only a short stint at a rehabilitation clinic in 2018. Thankfully, the actor eventually found the help he needed via a faith-based in-patient treatment facility in Texas called Rise Discipleship. "I went through a lot," Brown said in an interview with Christian Post regarding his graduation from the six-month program. "I experimented with crystal meth, with weed. I didn't know what I was doing. I was addicted to the internet. All kinds of stuff." He went on to say, "I can tell you that I'm okay. I'm alive. I was in an unsafe position, and it has been shaky but at the end of the day all I can tell you is I'm okay."

The actor reportedly thrived in the religion-based treatment as made evident from a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) from program founder Rey Sandoval showcasing a clean and healthy Brown delivering a testimony regarding Rise Discipleship. Brown followed up his graduation from the treatment clinic by releasing new faith-based rap music in recent years. Brown has released multiple Christian rap songs and music videos, with songs like "Smiled on Me" and "God Is in Me."

Orlando Brown was placed under house arrest

Unfortunately, Orlando Brown's struggles with the law and mental health continue to plague the once-budding star. In December 2022, Brown was once again arrested on charges of domestic abuse after threatening a friend with a knife and a hammer. The victim, who said he's Brown's brother, said the "That's So Raven" star was currently unhoused and staying with him when things turned sour. The incident caused the alleged victim to remove Brown from an upcoming film he was producing.

In February 2023, Brown was under house arrest for the charges. The actor originally pleaded not guilty to the alleged offense and since underwent a psychiatric evaluation to find whether or not he was fit to stand trial. Since then, Brown has seemingly been trying to make amends for his tumultuous past. In a YouTube video posted by Orlando and his wife, Danielle Brown, the former Disney star is seen having a deep conversation with his mother. "I definitely apologize for millions of things," Brown said while his child played in the living room beside them. "Once you see certain things in life, you can learn from your mistakes. And I am one of those people that don't like to stay reveling in their own filth." Thankfully, the video gives hope that the "That's So Raven" star may be on the path to addressing his past faults.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

He inserted himself into the Sean Combs controversy

As the vicious rap battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar unexpectedly revealed in the early summer of 2024, the music community is still reeling from the allegations made against prolific billionaire artist and producer Sean Combs — commonly known by his stage name P. Diddy. In 2023, multiple individuals filed civil lawsuits against Combs, accusing him of and seeking restitution for a number of disturbing alleged crimes, including sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and rape (per The Independent).

Following these allegations, Orlando Brown told Cam Capone News that Combs was one of his best friends, and Brown seemingly claimed that the individuals making allegations against him were simply regretting some ambiguous deal they made for success. Comparing it to fraternity hazing in another Cap Capone News interview, Brown said, "People sold their souls to Diddy, and then they're mad now because the hazing process was a little bit rougher than they thought." In this same interview, Brown also claimed he was Jesus Christ incarnate – a month later, a clip circulated of him claiming to have had a sexual relationship with Combs.

The situation surrounding Combs' allegations escalated dramatically when the musician's homes were raided by federal agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in March 2024. A former federal prosecutor told The Wrap that this was likely a sign that the government had a case with a "corroborating witness" set to testify, and were thus concerned that evidence of "sex or drug trafficking, production of child pornography, or firearms" could be destroyed. Days after the raid, Brown appeared on the "No Jumper" podcast and reiterated his support for Combs. Combs has denied the allegations made against him.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He was kicked out of a restaurant

The same month Brown was defending Sean Combs against mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, he was recorded in the midst of a fairly troubling public outburst at TAO, an upscale Los Angeles restaurant. The actor reportedly became restless over the course of his meal, eventually starting to speak to those at his table at a noticeably high volume, attracting attention to himself through unspecified actions, and shouting at other patrons in the building. Whatever Brown was doing specifically, it was enough for restaurant staff to approach his table and request that he rein himself in. Apparently, this was when the evening went from bad to worse.

As has been captured on video, Brown reacted to this reprimand by standing, taking out his phone, and proceeding to record the staff member. He then began loudly and repeatedly accusing them of being a child molester, before going on to call this staff member "Richard Ramirez" (Ramirez, a notorious serial killer known as the Night Stalker, has been dead for over a decade). Brown also called the staff member a demon, veering into the same disturbing biblical territory he had touched on in his interview with Cam Capone News. Even when he made his way out of the restaurant and attempted to apologize to the other patrons whose nights he had impacted, Brown introduced himself as the son of Satan and Lucifer.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He's made outlandish claims about having a child with Raven-Symoné

In a Cam Capone News interview, Orlando Brown made a staggering claim that Raven-Symoné had not one, but two secret children — one of which is his. "You know, I have a baby with Raven, nobody knows that," he said. Further into the conversation, he doubled down on this claim and says that he and Raven-Symoné (whom he calls "Omina," which happens to be an astrological term meaning "ancient warning") named their alleged child Hunter. He was apparently the second person to secretly conceive a child with the former Disney Channel star, the first being an unknown "baby daddy" he refers to as "Nate Dog." In previous interviews with Cam Capone News, he claimed that Raven-Symoné has a penis.

Brown does not explicitly state why he and Raven-Symoné kept their child a secret, nor does he provide any proof of this claim. His other "That's So Raven" co-star Annelise van der Pol seemingly didn't take it seriously (whether she had personally seen Brown's interview or not) when a TikTok commenter confronted her with it on her page. Brown has often spoken of Raven-Symoné in sensational ways in interviews, often creating headlines or viral moments just by making some outrageous or gratuitous claim about their alleged relationship. One of if not the first instance of this came in a 2016 interview with VladTV, where he alluded to having oral sex with Raven-Symoné and discussed a lyric he wrote that accused her of no longer being Black (misquoting a then-recent interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she said she didn't identify with the label "African-American").